Ava, my daughter, is a huge fan of the Japanese animation genius Hayao Miyazaki and most things from the fantastic Studio Ghibli. If you are a parent of a young child, My Neighbor Totoro is a wonderful film of his to start with, and older kids and their adults will love Spirited Away and a long list of others. Ava might be annoyed that I have not listed them all, to show my true respect for his work, but you can go a- looking yourself because I want to show you what she recently made of a birthday present we gave her, which will show respect enough.
I can brag about Ava easily because she is such a creative person and her art is so darn good. You'll agree without even knowing her. Brag, brag, brag. With a big trip to Ireland on the horizon (we just got back. Amazing. More on that another time) we thought it would be good for her to have a proper art bag to carry her materials around from castle, to priory, to Abbey. I found a plain canvas messenger bag at a local store and after she unwrapped it, we went up to the studio to make it hers. She embellished it with, of course, a Totoro, using the freezer paper stencil technique. Here is how it works:
What you'll need:
- a canvas bag
- freezer paper
- craft knife
- fabric paint or acrylic paint
1) Draw a design on the paper side of your freezer paper- Ava free handed this, but you could grab an image off the net or from a book or something and trace it.
2) Cut out the main shape. We used a craft knife, but scissors might work, depending on the design. As you can see, there are lots of details on Totoro's body, but Ava wanted his main body shape to be grey, so she first cut this out and then pressed it with a hot iron to the canvas. When she was satisfied with the freezer paper being securely in place, she painted that open space and then let it dry in the sun.